My new favorite saying? “The struggle is real.” Why do I like it so much? It helps me to deal with difficult situations, forcing me to:
- Acknowledge that something I am trying to accomplish is indeed difficult, hence not having immediate success is not only reality, but also ok
- Have empathy for others who are experiencing similar, and frequently far more difficult, situations
The first two points probably seem logical, and maybe even healthy. The last point, “laugh”, maybe not so much. Truth is, I spend a large percentage of my day laughing at things I can’t get done or can’t control. Laughter helps me to relax, and when administered appropriately relieves the tension of those around me who are either jointly struggling, or struggling as a result of my inadequacies.
Some of my struggle happens at work, but the more memorable struggle happens as I attempt to parent. These include the war stories and the mundane and monotonous. The next time you are faced with a parenting situation like any of the below (many of which we have discussed on our podcast), say “The struggle is real.” out loud. See how it feels.
- All of your children decide to poop at the same time. One of them is in diapers and is attempting to change herself. She is the farthest child from you at the moment. “The struggle is real.”
- Yet another glass spills in the middle of dinner. “The struggle is real.”
- Day out with Thomas. “The struggle is real.”
- Three birthday parties this weekend. “The struggle is real.”
- Your child, who is way too old to have a tantrum in front of their new piano teacher, decides to completely lose his mind for the first time in years. “The struggle is real.”
- Time for bed. Crap, you still have to make lunch. “The struggle is real.”
- Afternoon coffee. “The struggle is so real that is often requires legal stimulants.”
You get the point.
The other thing about the struggle? It never ends, and it almost always could be worse. Deal with the struggle however you like. I’m choosing empathy towards myself and others, and laughing along the way.
If you haven’t heard our Livin’ Large episode, I recommend taking it for a spin. Both fathers on that show seem to understand that the struggle is indeed real, so much so that one of them advises us all to “embrace the suck”. That said, before you embrace something it needs to be acknowledged.
I’ve never been considered gifted in the math department, but I’m finding the below formula effective in my own life:
ACCEPT THAT THE STRUGGLE IS REAL + EMBRACE THE SUCK = HAPPIER ME
Can my Happier Me formula result in a Happier You? I’d put money on it, but the struggle is real, so only you know the answer.